Strahl earns MIRA award from NIH

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences awarded Brian Strahl, PhD, $1.9 million over five years to continue investigating the detailed mechanisms of gene expression and chromatin, which are crucial to various diseases, especially cancers.

Strahl earns MIRA award from NIH click to enlarge Brian Strahl, PhD

Brian Strahl, PhD, professor of biochemistry and biophysics, received an Outstanding Investigator Award from the National Institutes of Health to broaden our understanding of the various and complicated roles of gene expression and chromatin. The grant, totaling nearly $1.9 million over five years, is a Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) from the National Institute for General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). MIRAs are intended to increase the efficiency of NIGMS funding by providing investigators with greater stability and flexibility to enhance scientific productivity and the chances for important breakthroughs.

Strahl, who is also a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, studies histone post-translational modifications (PTMs), chromatin-remodeling enzymes, DNA methylation, and histone chaperones, which play critical roles in the organization and control of our genomes.

Significantly, a wide number of studies have revealed that disruption or mutation of the protein machinery responsible for chromatin regulation underlies a number of human diseases, most notably cancer.  Despite this recognition, many crucial knowledge gaps exist in our basic understanding of chromatin regulation and how the dysregulation of histone PTMs lead to disease. With this MIRA award, Strahl’s lab will address a number of fundamental questions in chromatin biology with the long-term goal of elucidating the molecular underpinnings of chromatin regulation by histone PTMs and define how this regulation contributes to human disease. 

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